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What are we going to do about Site C?

15 August, 2016

As the Site C dam project forges ahead, West Coast's RELAW Project Manager Maxine Matilpi considers difficult questions about the future of the Peace River Valley and the Indigenous communities fighting to preserve their territories.

 

 

It's the end of the day and our shared office is hot and stuffy. My colleague on the RELAW project, Georgia, asks with all seriousness, “What are we going to do about Site C?”

Lessons from a summer at West Coast

12 August, 2016

West Coast Environmental Law Association was lucky to have four talented students join us this summer from law schools across the country. As the season winds down, our summer law students share their reflections on an exciting few months learning about the ins and outs of environmental law.

From left to right: Alex Kirby, Sina Kazemi, Monisha Sebastian and Brianna Meyer.

Catching up with science: Salmon biodiversity and Aboriginal fisheries rights in BC

3 August, 2016

At West Coast Environmental Law, we are passionate about collaboration and integrating science with law. When new, ground-breaking studies are published in the scientific world, it presents a unique opportunity to identify the implications this might have on shaping and influencing laws.

A recent study, “Species and population diversity in Pacific salmon fisheries underpin Indigenous food security” published by SFU researchers Holly Nesbitt and Dr. Jonathan Moore, is a fantastic example.

At West Coast Environmental Law, we are passionate about collaboration and integrating science with law. When new, ground-breaking studies are published in the scientific world, it presents a unique opportunity to identify the implications this might have on shaping and influencing laws.

West Coast Environmental Law urges legal protection for Great Bear Sea at IMCC4

Friday, July 29, 2016

 

St. John’s, NL– A new initiative by West Coast Environmental Law proposes strong new laws for ocean protection to permanently safeguard one of Canada’s ocean wonders – the Great Bear Sea.

#LovetheGreatBearSea: Put laws in place to protect it

28 July, 2016

Earlier this year the BC government approved the Great Bear Rainforest Land Use Order, grounding the region’s land and forest protection into law. Now it’s time to anchor the Great Bear Sea solution – comprehensive ecosystem-based marine spatial plans – into law as well. It’s time to achieve lasting protection for this precious area.

We’re taking this message to IMCC4 in St. John’s, Newfoundland this week, with a presentation on “Getting legal traction for BC’s science-based marine spatial plans.”

Prince Rupert

Enbridge asks for another shot: Public comment period open on Northern Gateway’s request to extend its expiring federal approval

3 June, 2016

The Enbridge Northern Gateway project's conditional approval is on track to expire at the end of 2016. To keep its project alive, Northern Gateway has requested a three-year extension from the National Energy Board (NEB) and federal CabinetNow is the time to have your say on whether Enbridge should get another shot.

Imagine for a moment that the Canucks made the playoffs (I know this is confusing and potentially painful for you, but bear with me). Imagine that they’re about to win their series when, with only a couple minutes left before the horn goes, the captain of the other team skates to centre ice and starts making a plea – to the media, to the audience, to the ref, to anyone who will listen:

Poor mines enforcement undermines social licence

1 June, 2016

BC’s government accuses political opponents of being too keen to say “no” to development, but a recent report by BC’s Auditor General, Carol Bellringer, blasted the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Ministry of Environment for the carte blanche they have provided to mining companies with little monitoring or compliance required after mines have been approved. While poor enforcement hurts the environment and the communities that depend on it, it also hurts industry. As we noted recently, it places responsible businesses at a competitive disadvantage, but at a broader level it also undermines public confidence in the industry as a whole – destroying the social licence of the mining industry and other regulated industries. If we want BC communities to say “yes” to resource development, we need strong environmental laws and we need confidence that our government will stand up and ensure those laws will be followed.

BC’s government accuses political opponents of being too keen to say “no” to development, but a recent report by BC’s Auditor General, Carol Bellringer, blasted the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Ministry of Environment for the carte blanche they have provided to mining companies with little monitoring or compliance required after mines have been approved.

How do we make the environment a top issue in Supernatural BC’s next election?

26 May, 2016

One year to go until BC’s next election - what role will defending our natural environment play? A recent poll from Insights West contains good and bad news for environmentally-minded voters, but nonetheless reminds us that the environment can and should play a major role in the coming election. Share your ideas in keeping the environment front and centre in the lead up to the election.

One year to go until BC’s next election - what role will defending our natural environment play? Read on to see what the polling is telling us, and to share your ideas in keeping the environment front and centre in the lead up to the election.

A recent poll from Insights West contains good and bad news for environmentally-minded voters, but nonetheless reminds us that the environment can and should play a major role in the coming election.

Making a splash: Time for Canada to catch up as marine protected area networks take off around the world

16 May, 2016

Canadians love parks and wilderness. Banff, Nahanni, Algonquin, Gros Morne – these names are etched in our consciousness. Yet we’re less familiar with the grandeur and ecological wonders of Canada’s ocean world. It’s time to make a splash and make Canadians proud of this essential part of our natural heritage and life support system.

Photo credit: Bram Cymet.

Canadians love parks and wilderness. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna recently said the most popular item in the federal budget was free admission for Canadians to all national parks in 2017, to mark Canada’s 150th birthday. 

Taking action on fish habitat protection

26 April, 2016

Momentum is growing to get habitat protection reinstated into the federal Fisheries Act through a petition launched recently by a network of scientists, First Nations, and organizations including West Coast Environmental Law. Below is a guest post by authors from both coasts about the need to make this change to Canada’s law.

Momentum is growing to get habitat protection reinstated into the federal Fisheries Act through this petition. The petition got a boost when Margaret Atwood tweeted it to all her followers this past weekend – please circulate widely.

Below is a guest post written by authors from both coasts about the need to make this change to Canada’s law.

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